Vancouver: Housing the Homeless in Old Shipping Containers

By Aiswarya Lakshmi
Tuesday, February 23, 2016
Photo: Jetson Green

 The City of Vancouver has issued a request for proposal for a company to build and install up to 300 shipping container-sized modular housing units to temporarily house the homeless, repots CBC News.

 
Providing temporary living spaces in shipping containers or other portable housing units is part of the latest plan to tackle homelessness in Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson's city.
 
“Previous units that we have already in the City of Vancouver are two standard shipping containers off a ship that have been offset and welded together to create a two room suite. They are very nice. You would never guess that were containers,” City Councillor Kerry Jang said.
 
Jang says developers could be offered tax incentives to allow the units to be placed on land until it’s developed.
 
The city's RFP  makes it clear the plans are in their early stages and no site for the modular homes has been selected. But the type of unit, and its purpose, is spelled out — 150 sq ft, washroom and sleeping quarters but no kitchens and must be portable. 
 
"Getting people inside ... has been very important because it really gets people ready to move into permanent housing when it is ready," Jang said.
 
This won't be the first time the city has considered homes made out of shipping containers, or something similar. The Atira Women's Resource Society opened a six-unit housing complex made from recycled shipping containers in 2013 on Alexander Street.
 

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